Hillary Clinton hits Trump on his casino failures in Atlantic City

Last Updated Jul 6, 2016 9:26 AM EDT

ATLANTIC CITY -- Hillary Clinton warned voters gathered in the sun on Atlantic City's seaside boardwalk on Wednesday against electing Donald Trump, who she said would "bankrupt America."

"He said, and I quote, 'I'm going to do for the country what I did for my business,'" Clinton said. "What he did for his businesses and his workers is nothing to brag about. In fact, It's shameful."

Clinton accused Trump of profiting off of putting "hundreds of people" out of jobs, stiffing contractors that then went under and cheating shareholders and investors in his hotels and casinos in Atlantic City. Visible behind Clinton as she spoke was the faded outline of Trump's name on the marquee of the now-closed Trump Plaza Casino and Hotel.

"He had the letters taken down a few years ago, but his presence remains," she said, "and not far from here is the old Trump Marina Hotel Casino. A few years ago, it was sold at a 'huuuge' loss."

Clinton also noted that nearby, casino workers were on strike in front of the Trump Taj Mahal, which filed for bankruptcy in 2009.

Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, and his business record have subject to scrutiny repeatedly and as recently as Wednesday, when USA Today published a four-month investigation that uncovered Trump's "battles with regulators" and found that his casinos "repeatedly broke state rules."

In a statement released by his campaign after Clinton's remarks, Trump defended his "tremendously successful business" and his use of bankruptcy proceedings.

"Nobody understands the economy like I do and no one, especially not Crooked Hillary, will do more for the economy than I will," Trump said in the statement. "I created thousands of jobs and made a lot of money in Atlantic City, which was what, as a businessman, I am supposed to do for my company and my family- and as President I will make America rich again.

But the money that Trump made in Atlantic City, and his boasting, were a key part of Clinton's message on Wednesday. She quoted Trump, calling Atlantic City a "cash cow."

"That says everything you need to know about Donald Trump," she said. "It's not about what he can build -- it's about how much he can take."

Clinton instead cast herself as rooting for the little guy.

"As a daughter of a small businessman, whose hard work sent me to college," she said. "I have a special place in my heart for the contractors, the craftsmen and the shopkeepers who built this city and keep it going."